A U.S. outbreak of the hepatitis A virus (HAV) linked to Turkish pomegranate seeds is prompting many leading food companies and government officials to demand a law that would regulate safety rules on imported foods, The Wall Street Journal reports. The new import law, which was supposed to go into effect in January, would require importers to control the supply chain for all food brought into the United States, ensuring farms and processors are taking steps to eliminate contamination risks at their facilities. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would then inspect these records to confirm whether international safety standards were met. The White House Office of Management and Budget declined to say when it might finish vetting the new import rule, stating it “has not yet quantified the cost and benefits” of the law, which could pose “significant” burdens to nearly 60,000 importers worldwide. Since June, the hepatitis A berry outbreak has sickened 127 people in eight states, with 45 percent of them ending up in the hospital.

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